Ichingo Chobe River Lodge Archives | ZQ Collection

The story of Kennedy Ilunga

By | News, Staff Stories | No Comments

At Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, we’re just as passionate about making our guests feel at home as we are about sharing the exceptional wildlife and natural beauty of the region.

Right at the heart of our passion for hospitality, is our talented staff who truly love what they do. And no person is more dedicated to his role than Kennedy, our Front of House Manager.

Kennedy Ilunga - Host at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Meet Kennedy

Kennedy is one of the first people you will see when arriving at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge. His bright smile is infectious and makes you feel instantly welcome as you step onto the deck.

While Kennedy loves every part of his job, meeting guests as they arrive is definitely his favourite. He puts all his energy into his work, and it shows in everything he does.

“There is so much more to giving than receiving. The more time, energy and love I provide to my guests the happier I feel.”

Kennedy has the lodge’s previous owner to thank for his position here. They met while working at another lodge in Katima Mulilo, and so began his journey to the dream job he has today.

Kennedy Ilunga - Host at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Getting to know him

The story behind Kennedy’s name comes from his father who worked in South Africa as a miner. While working there, many of the miners used English names, and Kennedy’s namesake was a friend of his father’s.

Fit and healthy at 59 years old, Kennedy is a firm believer in the importance of exercise. He is an avid runner and often goes for jogs through the beautiful natural surrounds.

Amazing experiences

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge has a privileged position on secluded Impalila Island along the Namibian side of the Chobe River. As such, it affords guests unparalleled opportunities to spot a myriad of wildlife up close in their natural habitat − from elephants quenching their thirst on the banks to rare birds perching in the branches.

When asked about his most incredible sighting, Kennedy recounts an occasion where a crocodile attempted to eat a python. The python was very large, and it turned out the crocodile had bitten off a bit more than it could chew! He says it took an entire day for the croc to complete its meal.

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

A word from our guests

Kennedy gets plenty of praise from our guests who all love his warm personality and friendly smile. Here are just a few of the many compliments he has received to date:

“At Ichingo Chobe River Lodge we had a marvellous time as Kennedy and his staff were fantastic. Kennedy has a wonderful way with people.”

“Kennedy was always on the deck with a refreshing drink or a glass of sherry when we arrived back from our boat ride in the evening.”

“Kennedy was a fantastic host.”

“The welcome we got on arrival at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge by Kennedy was to set the scene for the rest of our stay.”

“Thank you to Kennedy for looking after us so well.”

“Kennedy is so welcoming! His huge smile and enthusiastic waving proves how much he loves his job. We really enjoyed getting to spend a few days with Kennedy and his amazing staff.”

From his exceptional hospitality and genuine warmth to his unfailing dedication to excellence, Kennedy represents everything we stand for at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge. And we’re very proud to have him on our team.

Kennedy Ilunga - Host at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is located on secluded Impalila Island on the Namibian side of the river. This haven of natural beauty and serene luxury features eight air-conditioned Meru safari tents, each with their own private balcony with spectacular views over the river. Visit our website to discover more about Ichingo Chobe River Lodge and the unique area that surrounds it. 

Tiger fishing on the Chobe River

By | Fishing | No Comments

Do you have what it takes to battle an African Tiger Fish?

Nestled on Impalila Island in Namibia, Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is a tented lodge surrounded by breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, birdlife and ideal fishing conditions. Travellers from around the globe come here to battle with the extraordinary African Tiger Fish. With razor sharp teeth, and infamous speed and agility, this river rascal puts up an adrenalin pumping fight that’s sure to be one of the most exhilarating fishing experiences of your life.

Chobe River Tiger fishing

Proof of Vagabond Fly’s successful visit!

Its lurching strikes can snap your line or rod, and just when you think you’ve got it, the furtive fish makes a long fast run. Try to reel it in, and it jumps out of the water or dives deep to try and dislodge the hook. These unpredictable predators change their feeding patterns and will try anything they can to get away from your net. They are said to be the hardest fighting freshwater fish in the world, so if you want to catch one, you’re going to have to fight back every inch of the way.

We’ve got what you need

It takes great skill and finesse to successfully battle a tiger, and our guides are there to support you ever step of the way. We’ll supply you with the tackle you need – rods, flies, reels, lures, lines, and leaders – and our guides will share the angling techniques that they have developed through countless hours of experimenting.

Tiger fishing on the Chobe

It’s an unforgettable experience, fishing in the majestic Chobe surrounded by the natural African beauty. Curious elephants stop to watch you ready your tackle. Snappy crocodiles float by mischievously as antelope gather warily on the banks for an early morning drink of water. The unmistakable call of the African Fish Eagle as it swoops down to catch catfish is almost the soundtrack to your vacation. And chances are you may not notice any of these things as you wait anxiously for that tell-tale strike – indicating that the battle has begun!

The best time of year to catch African Tiger Fish

Because of our unique location, we offer excellent fishing safaris all year round – from the annual floods starting in March to the feeding frenzies in the winter months. This natural phenomenon takes place when the water begins to recede and a myriad of newly spawned bait fish make their way back into the river, only to be ambushed by shoals of hungry tigers.

Tiger fishing

You can literally see the bait ball being hit from all sides by the ferocious predators who may also greedily grab your lure if you position it just right.

The ultimate bragging rights

While pulling out an 8 pounder (3.6kg) might earn you some fireside bragging rights, it’s not enough to earn the coveted Ichingo yellow buff. The yellow buff is reserved as a special honour bestowed upon those brave warriors who battled and conquered a river beast over 11 pounds (5kg). Sound impossible? At a recent ceremony we handed out three yellow buffs in one weekend!

Chobe River Tiger fishing

Vagabond Fly’s yellow buff award ceremony

So, are you ready for the most thrilling fishing expedition of your life? Ready to battle the notorious African Tiger Fish? Then we’ll reserve a yellow buff for you – just in case you catch a big one!